Increasing number of women are adopting gray hair

Número cada vez maior de mulheres adotam cabelos grisalhos
Increasing number of women are adopting gray hair. Photo: pexels

When we talk about fashion, perhaps one of the first images that come to mind is Miranda Priestly, the iconic character played by 71-year-old actress Meryl Streep, in the film The Devil Wears Prada (2006). Editor-in-chief of the fictional Runway magazine, Miranda exudes power.

The looks she used in the film were signed by the best fashion houses in the world, but it was the white hair that made the image of the character so emblematic.

Meryl Streep filmed the movie when she was 57 years old and revealed in an interview at the time that her inspiration for the hair color came from Carmen Dell’Orefice, an 89-year-old American actress and model. Dell’Orefice began to model at 13 years old and, at 14, posed for Salvador Dalí (1904 – 1989).

To this day, she continues to be a highlight on magazine covers and fashion shows. Carmen Dell’Orefice’s relationship with white hair is also related to her strength. In the 1960s, nearing 40, the model made the choice to stop dyeing her hair after an episode in which her husband plucked one of the gray strands from her head.

The model took her husband’s action as unacceptable and reacted, taking on the color of her hair and making her image even more memorable.

In the fashion world, it is possible to find other women who have become references for their hair, such as Sarah Harris, editor-in-chief of British Vogue and a street style star.

Adopting the white hair is more natural in Europe, but the trend is beginning to gain followers in Brazil. Marina Bragante, 40 years old, a master in Public Administration by Harvard, is one of the women who made white hair one of her trademarks. “I decided that I would never dye my hair as soon as the first grays started to appear.

This happened around 2010. From 2015 onwards, they became increasingly white and, with that, came the criticism. People say they age me or that this is a lack of care. But for the past two years I have noticed that at the same rate as criticism comes compliments,” says Bragante. Interestingly, during the same period, a report released by Mintel, an English company specializing in market research, revealed that, in 2018, 68% of women between 25 and 64 years old already considered it acceptable to have gray hair.


Contrary to what some might think, embracing the natural color is not a lack of care. On the contrary, as it requires specific attention to hydrate and avoid color oxidation, which causes yellowing of the strands. “Performing treatments for damage protection is fundamental, as white hair is more susceptible to drying, which brings porosity and ‘frizz’.

To improve hair health, it is necessary to bring water to its structure with treatments with humectants, hyaluronic acid, and collagen,” says Cris Dios, responsible for the Laces and Hair salon chain, which developed a specific care protocol for white hair based on vitamins and nutrients. “Nutrition is also very important to keep the strands healthy with lipid replacement, in which we use oils, butters, and silicones,” Dios adds.

Having worked with hair care for 33 years, the expert reveals that, recently, she has observed an increase in the number of customers seeking the transition, which can happen in different ways. “Power and freedom is what I feel when I see a woman embracing and caring for her white hair. This trend has everything to gain more and more strength in fashion,” she says.

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